ὀβελός

Validation

No

Last modification

Tue, 06/01/2021 - 15:39

Word-form

ὀβολῶν

Transliteration (Word)

obolos

English translation (word)

obol

Transliteration (Etymon)

obelos

English translation (etymon)

spit

Author

Pollux

Century

2 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

Onomasticon, 9, 77

Ed.

E. Bethe, Pollucis onomasticon, 2 vols. [Lexicographi Graeci 9.1-9.2. Leipzig: Teubner, 9.1:1900; 9.2:1931]

Quotation

τὸ μέντοι τῶν ὀβολῶν ὄνομα οἱ μὲν ὅτι πάλαι βουπόροις ὀβελοῖς ἐχρῶντο πρὸς τὰς ἀμοιβάς

Translation (En)

The name of the obolōn ("obols"), for some, comes from the fact that, long ago, people used for exchange ox-piercing spits (obelois).

Comment

Correct explanation

Parallels

Etym. Magnum, Kallierges, p. 613 (ὅτι ὀβολὸς ἐκλήθη, ἐπειδὴ τὸ ἀρχαῖον τὸ χαλκοῦν νόμισμα τῶν Ἀθηναίων ὀβελίσκον εἶχεν. Φώτιος πατριάρχης. [...] Τροπῇ δὲ γίνεται τοῦ ε εἰς ο· πρὸ τούτου γὰρ ὀβελίσκοις τραχέσιν ἐνομίστευον. Οἱ μὲν οὖν Ἴωνες, ὀβελός· ἡμεῖς δὲ, ὀβολός)

Modern etymology

Attic form of ὀβελὀς, with vowel assimilation (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

MG still has οβολός as the name of Ancient Greek coins and in the metaphoric meaning "small contribution in money"

Entry By

Arthur de Tocqueville